“Is it safe?”
That was the riveting question repeatedly asked in the 1976 film “Marathon Man.” In a grim and crucial scene, Laurence Olivier’s menacing character demanded to know—as he used dental tools in the worst way—if what he needed to do could be safely accomplished. Dustin Hoffman’s “innocent man” paid an excruciating price for every hesitation, every uncertainty.
I sometimes think of that scene when one of our hospice’s social workers reassures other staff that a patient’s house is “safe.” When we talk about a new patient entering hospice care, the “safe question” must be asked and answered.
Which is to say, are there are any guns in the home?
According to 2012 statistics, 66% of the nearly 1,600,000 hospice patients in the United States were treated at their place of residence by a hospice team. About 27% were in a hospice facility and the remaining 6-7% were served in an acute care hospital.
Obviously, many hospice nurses, aides, social workers, and chaplains will be welcomed into private homes. Read More →by